Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I wanted to share some thoughts, hopefully some insights, on the jagged and rapid unfolding events today on the Kavanaugh nomination.

1. The smart people I talk to are fairly confident, or at least they were this afternoon, that in the end Senate Republicans will be able to push Kavanaugh through. I’m not sure they’re right. The situation has been changed dramatically in the 30 hours or so since the Post published Professor Ford’s account along with additional details which tend to bolster her credility.

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Another wild news day when I was supposed to be hitting our Prime sign up drive. But we need to keep up this critical momentum for the future of TPM. Quick version: It’s really important. If you’re a regular TPM Reader, please sign up for Prime. Cheap, awesome, important. Click here. It hugely important to the future of this site.

One of the many emails coming in this morning in response to this post was from TPM Reader MT. He believes it is wrong and unfair that Democrats are bringing these accusations up at the last moment. To be clear, he opposes Kavanaugh and sees it as a sort of righteous and perhaps inevitable payback for Merrick Garland. But still, he sees it as basically wrong.

From what I can tell, this is actually incorrect on the facts, whatever you think of the fairness of the matter. Here’s what I mean.

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This comment doesn’t go to the core questions we’re wrestling with today with the Kavanaugh nomination – substantive, ideological or political. But it’s a fascinating glimpse at the big changes that have happened in the process over the last quarter century – and ones that could have a major impact over the coming weeks. I suspect the first President Bush may have been particularly responsive to Senators in the way that is described below. But broadly speaking this is a real change.

From TPM Reader JB, a GOP senate staffer at the time …

As the Kavanaugh confirmation process recalls certain aspects of Clarence Thomas’s during the first Bush administration, I thought I’d offer a recollection about the latter.

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I’ve gotten a lot of fascinating responses to my comments and question below about the political fallout of the Kavanaugh accusations, many raising dimensions of the question I hadn’t considered. This from TPM Reader PM comes closest to capturing my take both in the particular and as a general theory of politics …

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TPM Reader SC says the failure of the Kavanaugh nomination, if it happens, could end any Democratic hopes of taking the Senate and possibly do the same for the House. Here’s his take and then my thoughts afterwards …

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Here’s Sen. Collins a few hours ago talking to CNN about the Kavanaugh accusations.

I assume you’ve already read the article in The Washington Post in which the unnamed accuser of Brett Kavanaugh goes public with her account of what happened. I don’t have anything to add to the account or what it means. Those speak for themselves. I have more insight into the potential political fallout. A lawyer shepherding the nomination on behalf of the White House said this to Politico: “No way, not even a hint of it. If anything, it’s the opposite. If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried. We can all be accused of something.”

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The head of FEMA not only refused to correct President Trump’s claims about Puerto Rico/Hurricane Maria deaths. He managed to blame some number of the deaths on spousal abuse.